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Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Peter Goan House; 1894


Born in Richland Center, Wisconsin in 1867, Frank Lincoln Wright would go on to become Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most influential American architects to date. In the beginning, Wright would struggle to find his own unique style of architecture and his own sense of design. By the end of his life, he would create a style of architecture that would remain “modern’ throughout several decades, with many of his homes still being considered modern in today’s day and age.


Wright’s struggles to find his own style can be seen in the details of his early work: the traditional homes that were still somehow unusual though still somehow fitting of the era. The Peter Goan house, though slightly less intriguing than some of Wright’s other, more famous designs, is an example of Wright’s architectural evolution.

Early Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The Peter Goan House in La Grange, Illinois

Upon first glance, you may not know that the house located in La Grange, Illinois, is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home. In fact, you may not even know that it is a neighbor to yet another Wright design, the Robert Emmond house, which is located across the street. However, upon inspection and with a little bit of knowledge, it is easy to piece together the little details that identify the house as a Wright design.

Today, the Peter Goan house has a relatively lack-luster exterior in comparison to other homes of that same era. However, it is part of the beginning of what would become known as the American four square or the “Prairie box.” The four square, which according to Jackie Craven of About.com, came around in 1895 and was around until the 1930s.

Complete with a visible basement, the Peter Goan house has a relatively flat facade aside from a polygonal bay window to the left of the front door. The roof is a high-pitched hip roof with deep eaves and rectangular dormers on each side. Many of these same details can be seen on Wright’s other designs that same year and in designs produced the year before. The original front porch has long since been removed and the original siding and stucco has been altered over time.

The Peter Goan House Today

Like many of Wright’s completed designs, the Peter Goan house has remained a private residence. Those who wish to visit and view the Peter Goan house should remember that it is a private residence and should therefore avoid trespassing. Like any home, it is important to respect the privacy of the current owners.